Sunday, October 17, 2010

Personal Update, Oct 2010 - my filmmaking and my father

Classes end next Monday, and starting November 1st to January 18th, we shoot each other's films, a new one each week. We work for each other as crew, from cameraman to sound, and we each write and direct our own short film. Shoots are roughly 5 days each, and 12-14 hour days are fairly common.

At school they are saying it's normal right now, just before the big 2nd year production period starts, for students to fall apart and go crazy. The way we are taught to make films in NYU's Grad Film program is not simply by the technical skills and tools to make them, but they do what they can to agitate the artist out of us students. They don't try and shape you into a mold or one kind of voice. They try to stimulate your unique ability to tell your story the way you tell stories. People search inside themselves. They spend a lot of money. They have big casts and crews, and a lot of big decisions to make. This is filmmaking as an action - it's characteristically high stakes at every turn.

On a level I know it's high stakes and I have a lot of work to do to make my film. But on another level it's not high stakes at all. I love the good (not perfect) script I've written, and I have good actors and crew behind it. Everything isn't figured out yet, but I have no reason to believe that it won't be. I'll be making choices, and I do care very much what the choices are. But I don't feel like panicking. I don't feel like shit's so hard or intense. I'm making a film. People keep forgetting that. I'm not spending a shit ton of money though it's not cheap at all. I'm not using a fancy camera, unless you count that it's HD.

I am getting to shoot a script, and collaborate creative entities, and let my creative spirit come to life. That's what I get to do, while people sit at desks typing for the maintenance of their 401k, or serve beer to a douchebag and pour bleach down a bar sink. A lot of people hate their jobs. They like other things about their lives, but they don't love what they do. I get to make films right now. Thank you student loans, I may regret this later. But today, this year at least - I'm making my film. This might be one of the most satisfying things I do in my life. Maybe I'll be a great director and make big budget films. But today I scrape together to make this work, every turn under my complete meagerly budgeted control - without a studio telling me what to do. It will probably never be quite like this again.

This is intense, but it's intensely good, and in its midst, lies the rest of my life.

I am hurt very deeply by the trauma my family is going through after my dad's stroke. Right now is a harder period than my family has faced. He is progressing physically in regaining previously parylized parts of his body, but mentally he has become irrational, and we are dealing with that. The most precious thing he has to lose is his personality, sense of self, identity. I know I've lost my dad in certain ways, but I hope I haven't lost him - who he is - all together, and it takes a lot of positive thinking to believe there's hope that these elements of his being have maintained their integrity. Everything about my family has been compromised.

I just want my parents to be able to grow old together and be able to have a life. I pray that they have more than just dealing with this stroke for the rest of their years. I want them to be able to live and have more happiness before their lives end. I don't want this to be it for them. They are trying very hard, and I hope at the end of the day there will eventually be some reward.

Before the stroke my dad was a health nut, exercised, didn't drink or smoke, and took lots of vitamins, though high blood pressure did him in and caused the stroke. He told everyone he was going to live until 100. I don't know how it's all going to end with him, and I wonder if I get married, will he walk me down the isle? Do I even care about that happening? I just hope that if it does happen, he'll understand what's going on. That's what I need more than anything. Please don't take that away from us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Live today like it's gonna be your last